Kolkata, often called the “City of Joy“, is a special place in India. It’s a city that wonderfully mixes old traditions with modern life, giving travelers a unique and fascinating experience. In this travel blog, we’ll guide you through Kolkata, telling you about the must-see places, visa information, expenses, and all you need to have a memorable trip in this enchanting city. Kolkata is known as the “Cultural Capital of India” because it’s a hub for art, history, and tasty food. It’s a lively place that truly reflects the spirit of India. Let’s start exploring this amazing city!
Places to visit:
Victoria Memorial: A magnificent white marble monument dedicated to Queen Victoria This iconic structure is a symbol of Kolkata’s colonial heritage. The lush gardens and museum inside offer a glimpse into the city’s history.
Howrah Bridge: One of the busiest and most famous cantilever bridges in the world, the Howrah Bridge connects Kolkata with its twin city. Howrah. Stroll along the bridge, especially at sunset, to experience its grandeur.
Dakshineswar Kali Temple: A spiritual oasis on the banks of the Hooghly River, this temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali. The serene surroundings and the mystical aura make it a must-visit.
Indian Museum: Established in 1814, this is the oldest museum in India and boasts an impressive collection of art, archaeology, and anthropology.
Park Street: Kolkata’s nightlife hub, Park Street is lined with restaurants, pubs, and clubs. It comes alive at night, and you can savor delicious food, enjoy live music, and dance the night away.
Kumartuli: This is where the magic happens. Kumartuli is a hub of artisans who create the beautiful clay idols of Durga Puja, the city’s celebrated festival. Visiting the area gives you a unique glimpse into the artistic heritage of Kolkata.
Botanical Gardens: Home to the world’s largest tree, the Great Banyan Tree, these gardens are a green escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. You can take a boat ride on the Hooghly River for an even more picturesque view.
Before planning your trip to Kolkata, make sure to check the visa requirements for your country. Indian tourist visas are generally available for various durations, and the process can be completed online. Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months from your intended date of entry into India.
Costs and Fees:
Air Ticket Fees:
Airfare to Kolkata can vary depending on your departure, the time of booking, and the airline you choose. On average, international flights to Kolkata cost between $500 and $1500 or more. Booking in advance and considering flexible travel dates can help you find the best deals.
The cost of traveling within Kolkata is relatively affordable. The city has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, and the Kolkata Metro, which makes getting around easy and budget-friendly. Taxis and autorickshaws are also readily available for short trips. On average, you can expect to spend around $5–$10 per day on local transportation.
Kolkata offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxurious hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses and hotels. On average, a mid-range hotel in a central location can cost between $40 and $100 per night, while budget options may start at around $15 per night. Prices can vary depending on the season and your preferences.
While exploring Kolkata, consider budgeting for additional expenses like entrance fees to museums and attractions, meals, and shopping for souvenirs. On average, you can expect to spend around $20–$30 per day on these additional expenses.
Food & Lifestyle
Kolkata is a paradise for food lovers. The city is famous for its street food, especially sweets. Don’t miss trying iconic dishes like:
Rashgulla is a delectable sweet made from cottage cheese and sugar syrup.
Kathi Rolls: A flavorful street food made from skewered meats or vegetables wrapped in a paratha,
Macher Jhol is Spicy fish curry that’s a Bengali specialty.
Phuchka (Pani Puri): A popular street snack consisting of hollow, crispy shells filled with spicy tamarind water, potatoes, and chickpeas.
Also, make sure to visit local restaurants and indulge in traditional Bengali cuisine, which includes dishes like “Mutton Biryani” and “Shorshe Ilish” (Hilsa fish in mustard sauce).
Kolkata’s lifestyle is a captivating blend of old-world charm and contemporary vigor. The city’s residents are warm, welcoming, and take pride in their artistic and intellectual pursuits. The pace in Kolkata is a bit slower compared to other major Indian cities, allowing you to soak up its cultural richness.
- Comfortable Footwear: Expect to do a lot of walking, so comfortable shoes are a must.
- Weather-appropriate clothing: Kolkata experiences a tropical climate. Lightweight and breathable clothing is ideal, especially during the hot and humid summer months.
- Travel Adapters: India uses Type D and Type M power plugs, so ensure you have the right adapters for your devices.
- Local Currency: The Indian Rupee (INR) is the local currency, so carry some cash for small expenses, but major establishments also accept credit and debit cards.
- Local SIM Card: Buying a local SIM card can be convenient for communication and navigation.
Apart from the usual tourist attractions, consider immersing yourself in Kolkata’s unique experiences:
- Attend a Bengali Cultural Event: Check out local events, dance performances, and music concerts to get a taste of Kolkata’s vibrant cultural scene.
- Visit a Traditional Tea House: Kolkata’s love affair with tea is well known. Visit one of the city’s charming tea houses for a traditional experience.
- Explore Bookstores: Kolkata is known for it’s literary history. Spend time in iconic bookstores like College Street’s Boi Para.
Kolkata, with its rich history, artistic legacy, and sumptuous cuisine, offers an unforgettable travel experience. The city’s warm-hearted residents and its unique blend of tradition and modernity make it a destination that should be on every traveler’s list. From the stunning Victoria Memorial to the mouthwatering street food, there is something for every type of explorer in this “City of Joy.” Embrace the cultural diversity, and let Kolkata’s charm captivate your heart. Start planning your journey today and embark on a memorable adventure in this vibrant city!